The greatly anticipated final book in the New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Who do they think should pay for the unrest?
The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history!!!!
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2865 of 3155 found the following review helpful:
Unexpected Direction, but Perfection (Potential spoilers, but pretty vague)Aug 24, 2010
By A. R. Bovey This was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy. I can only compare it to "Ender's Game" - and that is extremely high praise, indeed.
When I first closed the book last night, I felt shattered, empty, and drained.
And that was the point, I think. I'm glad I waited to review the book because I'm not sure what my review would have been.
For the first two books, I think most of us readers have all been laboring under the assumption that Katniss Everdeen would eventually choose one of the two terrific men in her life: Gale, her childhood companion or Peeta, the one who accompanied her to the Hunger Games twice. She'd pick one of them and live happily ever after with him, surrounded by friends and family. Somehow, along the way, Katniss would get rid of the awful President Snow and stop the evil Hunger Games. How one teenage girl would do all that, we weren't too sure, but we all had faith and hope that she would.
"Mockingjay" relentlessly strips aside those feelings of faith and hope - much as District 13 must have done to Katniss. Katniss realizes that she is just as much a pawn for District 13 as she ever was for the Colony and that evil can exist in places outside of the Colony.
And that's when the reader realizes that this will be a very different journey. And that maybe the first two books were a setup for a very different ride. That, at its heart, this wasn't a story about Katniss making her romantic decisions set against a backdrop of war.
This is a story of war. And what it means to be a volunteer and yet still be a pawn. We have an entirely volunteer military now that is spread entirely too thin for the tasks we ask of it. The burden we place upon it is great. And at the end of the day, when the personal war is over for each of them, each is left alone to pick up the pieces as best he/she can.
For some, like Peeta, it means hanging onto the back of a chair until the voices in his head stop and he's safe to be around again. Each copes in the best way he can. We ask - no, demand - incredible things of our men and women in arms, and then relegate them to the sidelines afterwards because we don't want to be reminded of the things they did in battle. What do you do with people who are trained to kill when they come back home? And what if there's no real home to come back to - if, heaven forbid, the war is fought in your own home? We need our soldiers when we need them, but they make us uncomfortable when the fighting stops.
All of that is bigger than a love story - than Peeta or Gale. And yet, Katniss' war does come to an end. And she does have to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out where to go at the end. So she does make a choice. But compared to the tragedy of everything that comes before it, it doesn't seem "enough". And I think that's the point. That once you've been to hell and lost so much, your life will never be the same. Katniss will never be the same. For a large part of this book, we see Katniss acting in a way that we can only see as being combat-stress or PTSD-related - running and hiding in closets. This isn't our Katniss, this isn't our warrior girl.
But this is what makes it so much more realistic, I think. Some may see this as a failing in plot - that Katniss is suddenly acting out of character. But as someone who has been around very strong soldiers returning home from deployments, this story, more than the other two, made Katniss come alive for me in a much more believable way.
I realize many out there will hate the epilogue and find it trite. At first, I did too. But in retrospect, it really was perfect. Katniss gave her life already - back when she volunteered for Prim in "The Hunger Games". It's just that she actually physically kept living.
The HBO miniseries, "Band of Brothers", has a quote that sums this up perfectly. When Captain Spiers says, "The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it."
But how do you go from that, to living again in society? You really don't. So I'm not sure Katniss ever really did - live again. She just ... kept going. And there's not really much to celebrate in that. Seeing someone keep going, despite being asked - no, demanded - to do unconscionably horrifying things, and then being relegated to the fringes of society, and then to keep going - to pick up the pieces and keep on going, there is something fine and admirable and infinitely sad and pure and noble about that. But the fact is, it should never happen in the first place.
And that was the point, I think.
600 of 680 found the following review helpful:
Torn about this book...Aug 30, 2010
By bklvr SPOILERS***************SPOILERS*****************SPOILERS * * * S P O I L E R S * * * Okay, on the one hand, I liked this book. Liked it enough that I couldn't stop reading because I NEEDED to know what happened--specifically to Peeta. I also liked what happened in the end...but...well...
From the first page of The Hunger Games to the end of Mockingjay, the one thing, the one character that kept me reading was Peeta. I liked Katniss alright, but she wasn't what drew me into the series. Katniss, like many reviews are saying, was a pawn in this awful war. In the first 2 books she acted against the 'control'. She rebelled--which is WHY so many people looked up to her. Which is why they wanted her face to be the seal of their rebellion. It made sense. But here's where I feel Ms. Coillins made a grave mistake in Mockingjay...she eliminated the 'goodness' that had motivated Katniss to move forward even when she didn't want to during the games from her life.
True, this whole series has been about fighting oppression and power. About fighting against a government set out to only make their own lives better, and I felt the first 2 books did that nicely. They were so dark, so horrifying, but inside all of that horror there was a spark of light, of sunshine, and that spark was Peeta and Prim--but mostly Peeta since he was there with her to remind her time and time again the type of goodness that was there to save.
Peeta represented true goodness, love, compassion. He was what kept Katniss from falling over the edge into total darkness. He was her rock, her friend, and no matter how confused she felt--she loved him, even if she didn't know it yet. The failure in Mockingjay was that, Ms. Collins took that light away from Katniss. There was no goodness anymore, and therefore Katniss lost her own 'personal spark'. Yet, this was never alluded to in the story. We just saw Katniss growing weaker and weaker, and were never given a reason as to why. People are complaining about how 'soft' her character went and I completely agree. But what isn't being talked about is the reason why. The reason is that Ms. Collins all but removed Peeta from this story.
I don't know about everyone else, but he was the only bright spot in this entire series for me. Everything was so dark and hopeless--except him. HE was the one the masses clung to. HIS words, HIS light, HIS goodness. He is what made Katniss look so incredible. It was his presence and words that did that. It is my opinion that she could not have risen to the level she was at without him--which is why she fell short in Mockingjay. The dynamic between them and what they accomplished together at both 'Games' was what drove the series for me. It wasn't even so much about the romance--although that DID add another human layer to this story which made it all that much more gut wrenching and true.
All across the review boards, message boards, etc...the main thing people mused about was 'Who is Katniss going to choose? Gale or Peeta?' (And really, was there even a doubt as to who it would be? Who it needed to be?) Yet, we get to Mockingjay and the author COMPLETELY obliterated that theme. Sure, we all understand that the war was the main plot, but the HEART of any story is it's characters and their personal journey. Love being one that drives most stories. The love was all but absent here. Sure, we get a resolution, Katniss chooses in the end, but it doesn't FEEL good to the reader. We were given no 'reunion' scene. We were given no 'love-filled' embrace. We were TOLD, 'and this happened.' Not fulfilling. Not in the least. Readers need closure. It doesn't have to be a 'happily ever after' which would have been completely off base for this story. But we need to see that in spite of everything that had happened, everything that the characters have suffered, that it had been worth SOMETHING. That everything they fought for, everything so many people died for, was worth something in the end. I'm disappointed because it wasn't like that. It was more like 'Yes, I finally admitted to myself that Peeta was who I loved, then I had some babies with him because he wanted them.'
Why, Suzanne Collins? Why? Why couldn't you let Katniss and Peeta be content afterward? Why couldn't it have ended with Katniss feeling at least somewhat like what they'd suffered had helped in some way. It ended with Katniss sounding just as depressed and unhappy as in the beginning--even though she had a wonderful husband and beautiful kids. I'm just...incredulous, I guess, that there couldn't even be a kernel of hope in the end. We all know this story wasn't a fairytale, and I prepared myself for bleakness. I just never imagined that I would get the ending I wanted (I was actually convinced Peeta would die and I'd be so incredibly mad that I'd throw the book into my fireplace), but that it would have such a sour note that I couldn't even be happy about it. I missed the dynamic between Peeta and Katniss so much. Only twice in the entire book did I feel ANY of that old spark (when he asked her, "You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real?" and when she kissed him to help him stay sane.) Twice in 400 pages. Characters and their relationship trump any and ALL fighting/gore/death--even in a war story because without that, readers don't care about the outcome of the war! This is where this novel fell short. The character relationships were completely annihilated. Gone.
Ok, I guess I've ended my rant. I just feel like she could have ended the book the same, but could have made that hopelessness feeling go away just a little. Because what is life if there is no hope? This novel left the reader feeling empty, drained, and hopeless. Not even being able to care about what happened to those characters we'd grown to love.
155 of 176 found the following review helpful:
Just plain sloppy and apathetic.Nov 30, 2011
By Mari I love how the 5 star reviewers accuse the lower star reviewers of whining because they didn't get their fairytale ending. Sadly, it is not the case with me. I really should have trusted my instincts and stopped at a 1/3rd of the book.
-Mini Spolier Alert- While I understand that it's "realistic" in terms of how war changes you, I don't feel it was any excuse for dragging out all kinds of action just to have the resolutions happen while Katniss is knocked out or while we, the readers, are segueing into something else. I feel everything after the action was brushed over with a shrug of the shoulders. It kind of makes me think that the author didn't care that much about her characters after all. That she had a Katniss-like apathy writing this book. As an avid reader, many authors have proven time and time again that you can take your stories into a completely unforgiving place while still maintaining the original spirit in which the preceding books were written in. The author has completely failed in that aspect.
As for the "fairytale ending"... I never needed one. At all. I just thought the author would have had the courtesy of tying up loose ends for most of the subplots in strong, sturdy knots as opposed to just hastily bundling it up and presenting it as a finished package.
The good news is that if the third book gets made into a movie, we'll probably enjoy it far more than this depress-apalooza...unless the author elects to write that screenplay as well, then we are screwed.
All I'm saying is that we, the readers, deserved a bit more conviction in the writing. It's not like it was her first book, you know.
1127 of 1313 found the following review helpful:
The detractors of this book wanted a fairytaleSep 13, 2010
By DAVID OTOOLE To start I am a 47 year old Veteran. I have read a lot of the bad reviews for this last book and I see a theme running through them all. They didn't get their fairytale ending and the people they liked didn't end up the way they wanted. Well If you are looking for a fairytale read Harry Potter. If you want a realistic book on how war really is and how people will sacrifice themselves to save their country, then this is for you. The love triangle between the three main characters resolves itself in the best way that I could see possible. The way each one would react to the horrors of war were obvious from book one. I don't want to include spoilers so Ill just say, read this with an expectation of a realistic portrayal of the characters and how the war would change them. The ending on a personal level, is not necessarily a happy one, but it is a realistic one. From a "Big Picture" perspective I think it was a happy ending. To expect that all of the main characters could live "Happily Ever After" after surviving what happened in all three books is unrealistic.
246 of 285 found the following review helpful:
Hugely Disappointing.Oct 24, 2010
By Megan Hicks I enjoyed Hunger Games a lot, and Catching Fire as well (though I thought that Catching Fire had some flaws). These flaws became all the more apparent in Mockingjay, where the fast pace and any character development was quickly derailed. The main problems can be summed up thusly:
1) Limitations of the point of view. In Hunger Games, Katniss's first person POV helped keep up the suspense. You only knew what she knew in the arena, and you read to find out what was going on. When were the Careers going to find her and try to kill her? What were Peeta's motivations? Etc, etc. This also worked in Catching Fire. However, much of Mockingjay is spent with people explaining what happened off-screen to Katniss. She gets told things second hand a lot. This really bothered me. I wanted to see the action take place, not be told about it. What little action there is in the beginning is the awkward, staged propaganda pieces which make little sense. Which brings me to the next point.
2) The action in the back third of the book was poorly written. I think it was rushed. At no point in Hunger Games did I have trouble understanding what was going on. I had to reread parts several times to understand what had happened, particularly Finnick's and Prim's deaths. The last part was basically one big swirl of confusion, choppily written and edited. What's more, the constant need to tie everything back to the Hunger Games got old really fast with the "pods are like being back at the Games!" thing. Uhhh no.
3) Gale's rather odious character derailment. I was indifferent to who Katniss ended up declaring her love for, but all the ploys that Collins used to get Gale out of the picture just felt cheap to me. Him possibly having a part in the bomb that killed her sister? Katniss needed that to realize that he wasn't right for her? That's cheap. She should have had to struggle to reach that conclusion on her own, rather than making Gale not only uncomfortably, if indirectly, responsible for Prim's death on top of having Gale be a jerk to Katniss through most of the book. Collins set up a perfect plot for Katniss to realize she loved Peeta. Taking his love away from her should have really finally opened up her eyes to what she felt, and had her try to earn him, but this is relatively glossed over.
4) Collins seems to have forgotten that the readers see the world through Katniss's eyes. And hollow, inactive, depressed, and drugged up eyes are not really the best eyes to see the world through. A different writer might have been able to make this work, but keeping Katniss's depression and lethargy compelling was just outside the scope of her gifts. She's much better at other things that she didn't capitalize on. Katniss is horribly traumatized -- as she should be -- but wandering, self-centered thoughts about how traumatized she is don't make for very interesting reading in Collins's hands. After a while, I was really starting to hate Katniss, and how she seemed unwilling to sacrifice anything for the rebellion. Everything seemed to come back to her. Oh, Haymitch manipulated me in the arena! How terrible! It's not like he wasn't trying to do something good for the world at large by doing so! These thoughts, all of which we're privy to, got wearing fast.
I think Collins needed more time to write this book. The ending in particular felt extremely rushed. In the end, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it was so far from living up to the promise of the first two installments that I just hated it.
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